About a week ago, God began stirring some thoughts in me that came up in a conversation with a couple of my friends. We began talking about relationships between younger generations and older generations. What I came to realize is that my generation has a few characteristics that are prominent and can be quite annoying. I want to discuss these characteristics and their impact on my generation’s secular lifestyle as well as their impact on my generation’s spiritual curiosities.
We Want It Now!
People my age (28) have grown up with access to things such as widespread motor vehicle transportation, microwavable meals, fast food, high speed internet, email, cell phones, etc. The world is at our fingertips, and as our world shrinks evermore, we demand more immediate access to the things we want. This is a trait that grows more annoying the more I notice it. The need for instant gratification has turned my generation, in large part, into a generation of jerks. We don’t mind stepping on someone else to get what we want when we want it. We’ll gladly tear someone down if they fail to meet our needs right away. We enter doomed marriages with expectations of having lifelong slaves at our immediate disposal, and we teach our children by example to expect nothing but instant satisfaction in our daily lives. It’s a characteristic that is flawed to the core and makes for nearly unbearable relationships with people bitten by this disastrous bug.
We Want More!
Instant gratification is not the only troubling characteristic that my generation exemplifies. When we have what we want, we want more (and when do we want it? NOW!). It is extremely difficult for members of my generation to be satisfied with what we have. Personally, when I have downtime, I’ll catch myself just browsing my favorite online shopping sites. I’m never looking for something I need; I’m just strolling through the virtual aisles looking for something to fill whatever it is missing in my life. This largely subconscious stroll is troubling, and I see it in many people my age. It can be easily seen in rising levels of obesity. We eat until we are full, unbutton our pants, and shove some more food in. Pick an area of life be it the cars we drive, the churches we attend, or anything else and you will find examples of this excessive behavior.
We Don’t Want to Be Told, “No.”
I’ve heard it said several times that people will do what they want to do. My generation does not do well when it is told, “no.” How could it? We want more than we could ever need, and we want it now. This behavior goes far beyond the “terrible twos” of childhood development. Sure, we don’t fall to the ground screaming and crying for the whole world to hear, but we do take our frustration and disappointment out on those we contact throughout the day.
Picture the young adult who wants a big screen television for his college apartment. His parent says, “no” and there’s no need for his bank account to utter a word. He tweets his emotional turmoil, goes emo on Facebook, and makes the lives of his roommates miserable while he pitches his childish fit. Finally, unable to suffer any longer, he purchases his shiny new big screen television on credit from the electronics retailer more than happy to sink its teeth into willing impatient victims.
I’m not trying to beat up on my generation solely to repeat the same things older generations are saying about my peers. I’m trying to paint a picture in your mind of what it is like to be a member of my generation. Most of us are lacking any real patience and contentment, and it has the potential to destroy my generation and the ones born of it.